Sprint Stores Still Forcing Accessories On iPhone 5 Buyers

Image courtesy of (Will Middelaer)

The world’s initial bout of iPhone 5 fever has passed, so retailers have stopped playing tricks to take advantage of customers’ insatiable gadget lust, right? Well… no. Not Sprint. Like other readers and even our parent company’s own mystery shoppers, Daniel was told at a corporate-run Sprint store that if he wanted to go home with an iPhone 5, he also had to buy an accessories package. If he didn’t like it, he could go to Best Buy or a different store.

He wrote:

So last night [November 2] I went down to my local Sprint corporate store (in [redacted]) because as of last month we are eligible to upgrade our phones. Both my father and mother want to upgrade to a new iPhone 5. We begin the process with the sales rep. He looks up the account info and verifies that they are both eligible to upgrade their handsets. Before we proceed with the upgrade, the sales rep lets me know that in order for him to sell me the iPhone we have to purchase an accessory for each handset.

I thought I had heard incorrectly and asked for clarification. He proceeded to let me know that it’s their store policy, any customer who is purchasing an iPhone (new line or upgrade) needs to purchase an accessory along with the phone. He then suggested that if I didn’t want to have to purchase an accessory, I could go across the street to a non corporate store or I could go to Best Buy.

At this point, I ask if his manager is there and patiently wait for her to come and explain the situation. While waiting for the manager to finish with another customer, I went ahead and placed a call to Sprint Customer Care to verify if this “Policy” was a corporate instituted policy. The first customer care rep I spoke to said she had no knowledge of this, but she said stores are free to set their own sales policies. I politely asked to be transferred to her floor manager or supervisor. While on hold I went ahead and interrupted the store manager because I wanted an explanation. According to her, this policy was set by the district manager and there is nothing she can do. I proceeded to take her information along with the information of the district manager before I left.

As I was driving home I finally got connected to the floor manager at the call center. I explained the situation and he said he had never heard of such a thing. He asked to place me on hold to confirm with the other floor managers to see if they had heard of this “policy” before. He quickly came back on the line and apologized and said that he was going to write up this store because he had never heard of corporate issuing this policy.

Remember that when a store tries this, you can exercise the rights given to you by the great and mighty deity Capitalism and walk away.

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